I am very distracted by the trees outside my window. It is brittle and cold; the tops of the trees are clattering against each other in the wind. The ground is covered in white snow and the sky is as blue as can be. It is too beautiful to be working. How did this happen? When did I start allowing myself to be so captivated by such a simple thing?
At some time in our lives we will all experience a disruption, something that forces us to make decisions and choose to either go forward or stay where we are. Even if we choose to stay where we are the world continues to move around us, making it almost impossible to keep still. Over time we have to move, whether we like it or not.
How we move is up to us. No-one can do it for us and no-one else is responsible. For myself, I have found that I began to believe in the magic of the most simplest of things. A twig, holding fast onto the ice that fell the night before, glistens more than any diamond I have ever seen (maybe I need to see a few more diamonds just to be sure :-) I love to look at sharpened pencils, sitting in a cup (I have never liked pens, so am constantly buying pencils, both mechanical and old-fashioned ones. To me there is beauty whenever I use one, the lead giving slightly with a softness as it writes (or draws) on a piece of paper.
I know I am a dreamer, and this often creates problems when I am faced with technology or an over scheduled lifestyle (occasionally I have to schedule time alone, to be silent). But I also know that when I recognize this part of me it becomes a strength that allows me to enjoy the more mundane aspects of my life.
To tie this into my decorating life is a bit of a stretch, I know, but I will try. At the moment there are a million things to be done, it's the Christmas season and I am going on vacation next week. My house is in desperate need of a cleaning, but if I am honest, it is not important to me. My priority is to decorate the house, buy presents, pay attention to the people that I love and keep the ice off the driveway. Cleaning the house is irrelevant. I know that when the other things are done I will clean the house - maybe not perfectly, but it will be enough for me.
Ask yourself what you would really like to do right now. Whether it is cleaning the house, reading a magazine, decorating the outside with moving reindeer, checking homework, baking, buying a new moisturizer or watering your plants, then that is what you should do right now. If you do what is important to you first, then you will have the peace of mind, and the motivation, to get the other things done.
Stop fighting against who you are. Find what your strength is and use that to deal with your life. I know I seem to be advocating taking the easy way out, but I have found that if we find as much pleasure as we can in our everyday life then it makes dealing with the other stuff so much easier.
I met someone recently who wanted advice. As I got to know her I realized that my life and my opinions were nothing more (or less) than what worked for me. To gather ideas and opinions is always one of the best ways to go forward, but in the end we have to sift through what we are given and accept who we are. We are far more likeable when we are ourselves and, believe it or not, it is easier.
As grown-ups we still fall prey to peer pressure, especially around the Holiday season, but if our heart is not in it then it is nothing more than an illusion. An exhausting exercise in trying to please others. Try to stay focused on what is important to you. Your family and friends will notice the difference, and you may just feel a little happier inside.
Believe it or not, I had originally drafted a gigantic article on decorating, but I think you've probably heard the ideas all before (pinecones, bulbs, berries, wreaths, ornaments in bowls etc) so I won't print it. Who needs to be told more things that they "should" be doing by someone who has time to write a blog?
I would, however, always recommend making wishes.
Get some plain, round glass ornaments. Get little strips of paper (1/2 inch by 3 inches) and ask friends and family to write a wish on the paper. Roll it up tightly, carefully take the cap off the ornament and put it inside.
Each year you can add another wish (or, you could ceremoniously smash them open and see if they have come true).
See you all in the New Year.